Signs You Need To Say “No” And How To Avoid Burnout


It’s easy to say “yes” to social events, family functions, extra hours at work, and extra classes at school. However, it’s damaging to keep saying “yes” without truly realizing what it takes to follow through. For students, it feels nearly impossible to fit so many commitments into a limited schedule. 

As the semester progresses, there are a few signs to look for that indicate future burnout. Every student has been there, but this kind of exhaustion can be prevented with a little extra self-care.

Here are some clear signs that you need to say “no” and avoid burnout.

1. Exhaustion And Tiredness Due To Lack of Sleep

Whether you’re in the midst of midterms or you’re slammed with homework, fatigue is a significant sign that you’re reaching your limit. Tiredness is due to a lack of sound, consistent sleep. Many students create an unhealthy relationship with caffeine during these chaotic times, amplifying preexisting sleep problems.

Staying up late to finish a paper or study guide will only leave your brain exhausted the next day. It would be more productive if you allowed time for your brain to recharge and rest. Allow yourself at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, even if all your “to-do’s” aren’t done. Your brain will thank you by being more ready to work during the day. 

2. You No Longer Enjoy Going Out Or Hanging Out With Your Friends

Another big sign you need to say “no” to some of your commitments is when you no longer crave your social circle like you used to. You may find yourself more irritable and negative around people you typically enjoy. Sometimes, the best remedy is to recharge your social battery by spending some time alone. 

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, everyone needs time to themselves. Balancing a busy schedule makes socializing especially draining, because being around people might take more energy than you realistically have. The best thing you can do for your closest people is to spend a little time hanging out with yourself. 

3. You Start to Lose Your Appetite And Begin To Lose Weight

Finding pockets of time to fuel your body with food is critical for anyone with a busy schedule. If you do not make time to eat, your body will begin to lose its appetite altogether. You’ll then be lacking the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.

Everyone has time to take care of their body. You cannot ask your body to be on the move all day and function well if it’s not getting enough nutrients and food for fuel. Saying “no” to activities that make your days jam-packed is necessary for your health. Having time for a nutritious meal will give you the mental and physical strength to tackle your day. 

If you are not tending to your mental, physical, or emotional health, everyday tasks will feel dreadful and draining. Take intentional care of yourself to help you manage your daily tasks effectively and efficiently!

For more information on better balance in your life, consider our article Working From Home: Balance Work And Breaks.